Googling Your Home’s Energy Usage

February 12, 2009

If you knew how much energy you were consuming each time you left a room and forgot to turn off the light, or turned your thermostat up a couple of degrees in the winter, would you be more conscious of your choices? Google hopes so. This week, Google unveiled a protoype of their new PowerMeter service, which will allow homeowners to measure their energy use in real time.

The prototype is an electricity measuring device that attaches to your home’s main circuit breaker; the information it collects gets sent back to Google’s servers and then emailed to you. Farther down the road, Google plans to add “social tools” which allow you to compare energy consumption among your neighbors and friends. Currently there are about 30 Google employees testing the PowerMeter in their homes, but the final product is still in development and not available to the public.

There are, however, other products currently on the market that help you determine the efficiency of each appliance in your house, such as the Kill-A-Watt, the Wattson,  and the PowerCost Monitor.

Are you interested in this technology, and would it change your habits? Could the Google PowerMeter make a significant impact on energy consumption in this country?